So today, I did a 50 mile ride and it was on a route that I’ve been avoiding like the plague because of a 6 miles long hill that’s a 4-5% grade (depending on where you are). That is not my idea of fun. Well, not going up it, that’s no fun, coming down is another story.
The morning began and I’m riding along trying not to get killed, because with 400 people on the river trail and all kinds of breaking going on, the chances were high that I was eventually going to be unable to avoid a wreck and get into one (luckily, I got lucky, and I didn’t ever crash, but all kinds of peeps that were in front of me did). And so at about 8 miles, I was desperately trying to talk myself out of doing the full 50 miles. I was telling myself how 25 was ok (and it’d get me out of having to ride up that monster of a hill). But then, Miguel, one of my Outlaws pulls up beside me and tells me that I should ride the whole thing. It was kindof difficult for me to say no because I had to do a 50 mile ride today.
And so, I conquered the hill, if I can call it that. Conquering that is. I went up it at a measly 5.5-8 mph depending on where I was or if I had just started after stopping (because I had to stop often, because I had no desire to continue going up this hill, but I did continue going because the only way I could feel good about going down the hill was if i rode all the way up it. So, I struggled up the hill, but I made it, and then I was happily going along a flat portion when I had to turn and go 2 more miles up an even steeper hill. That was even worse because I was just completely exhausted. I was ready to go home, but I also wasn’t going to quit, I had come 20 miles, I was going to finish it. And I did, I went the 2 miles up the hill.
And then, I got the joy of going down that 2 mile hill, which was great, because that was the only time I’d get to tuck into my most streamline-est position, spend a few moments pedaling my heart out and then enjoying the speed of 37mph. That just got me more excited because I knew that going down Tramway (the big hill) I’d get to go even faster. Except that my excitement turned into disappointment when I was met with a headwind.
I tucked myself, pushed my gears to the most rockstarish gear (as opposed to the granny gear I was in when I was going up the hill), and hammered away. Most the time I wasn’t even looking in front of me, I kept my head down so that I was arrow dynamic. The fastest that got me was 30mph. I could’ve coasted down that hill at 40 miles an hour if there had been no wind. So I was very bummed about the headwind. I didn’t get to go nearly as fast as I wanted to.
All in all though, the ride was a good ride. It made me realize that if I’m ever going to not mind hills that I need to train on hills so that I get better at riding hills and then I won’t mind them as much.